About me

I am a Senior Lecturer in the department of Linguistics and English Language, School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. I received my PhD from the University of Tromsø, following a specialist degree at the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Moscow State University. Previously I was Lecturer in Language and Linguistics at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. I came to Edinburgh in 2013 as Lecturer in Theoretical Phonology.

I am a phonologist whose primary areas of interest concern the nature of phonological features and the division of labour in phonological theory. Recently I have also been working on the interaction between segmental and suprasegmental phonology, particularly on the proper analysis of so-called ‘pitch accent’ systems. My other interests are morphology-phonology interaction (in particular stratal/cyclic models), historical phonology, and historical language contact. In particular, I am interested in the interesting phonological commonalities among the languages of north-western Europe, such as preaspiration, ‘pitch accent’ systems, sonorant pre-occlusion etc. Read more about this project here; a monograph on the subject is currently under contract to Cambridge University Press.

At Edinburgh, I am affiliated to the Phonetics and Phonology, Language Variation and Change, and English Language research groups. I am also an affiliate of the Angus McIntosh Centre for Historical Linguistics.

Most of my work is on Celtic languages — particularly Welsh and Irish, and more recently also Scottish Gaelic (chan eil ach beagan Gàidhlig agam an-dràsta). My PhD thesis provides a comparison of selected aspects of the phonology of two Brythonic Celtic varieties, and a book based on parts of it was published with Edinburgh University Press (read more here). My other particular interest is in Germanic — particularly North Germanic — languages. I have also worked on Slavic and Romance varieties.


Latest blog posts

It gives me no pleasure but the recent opinion in The Times by the highly respected journalist Magnus Linklater really deserves a response. In a handy 899 words, it shows all the blind spots of a majority establishment that simply does not see what the deal is with minority languages. I can see where this position is coming from (Russia is not the most progressive country for awareness of its minority languages among the majority population), but really, one expects better — not just as far as the policy proposals go (we can surely disagree on that) but even in terms of basic journalism. Read more →
An important dimension that’s often missing from the debates about whether it’s worthwhile to support Gaelic or promote Scots in Scotland is why one would do such a thing in the first place. In today’s feverish political environment these things slide all too often into outright constitutional mudslinging or at least a debate that foregrounds the essential Scottishness of the country’s languages, either as a good thing or a bad thing. Read more →
Another day, another stooshie on Scottish Twitter. This time it’s Paul Kavanagh sharing some really lovely maps of Lowland areas with Gaelic placenames that he’s made. I'm drawing Gaelic maps cos Scotland has 2 national languages of its own, yet all our maps are in English. pic.twitter.com/uBN0hXsD9U — Paul Kavanagh (@weegingerdug) September 26, 2016 Cue some really rather unenlightened comments with all the usual accusations and allegations (‘never spoken here’, ‘pushing it down our throats’, ‘dead language’, ‘spend it on hospitals instead’), and equally noisy pushback. Read more →

Curriculum vitae




Latest & upcoming presentations


Latest papers

  • Iosad, Pavel. 2023. Mutation in Celtic. In Peter Ackema, Sabrina Bendjaballah, Eulàlia Bonet & Antonio Fábregas (eds.), The Wiley Blackwell companion to morphology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Abstract
  • Iosad, Pavel. 2023. The ATR/Laryngeal connection and emergent features. In Florian Breit, Bert Botma, Marijn van ’t Veer & Marc van Oostendorp (eds.), Primitives of phonological structure, 161–208. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Abstract  pdf
  • Iosad, Pavel. 2022. After the Vikings: Language shift in Scotland and the Irish Sea world. In Christian Cooijmans (ed.), Islands of place and space: A Festschift in honour of Arne Kruse, 208–223. Edinburgh: Scottish Society for Northern Studies. Abstract  pdf

Before you ask, anghyflawn is Welsh for ‘incomplete’. I also get asked about my name a lot, so here is a brief explanation.

This website was created with Hugo, on the basis of the great design by Greg Restall.

About me

I’m Pavel Iosad, and I’m a Senior Lecturer in the department of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh. ¶ You can always go to the start page to learn more.



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